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British Lung Foundation
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Ill Health Retirement V Early Retirement

Help needed as I'm thinking of retirement from my NHS post but I have been advised to apply for IHR tier 1. I am 56 years old with 30 plus years of paid superannuation. My questions are 1) will there be any difference in pension payments and lump sum 2) How long does the IHR process take? Has anyone had experience of this situation?

Thanking you in anticipation.

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I had this choice (in my 50s) and took the IHR at the highest tier. This meant the contributions I WOULD have made had I continued working were credited to me and my pension paid in full immediately as though I had worked through to retirement. I could choose my lump sum/monthly payment amounts. I can't remember how long it took but it was not quick. Good luck.


Thank you for your reply Toci and hope that you are enjoying your retirement as best as you can. I know that you can choose which amounts of lump sum and monthly payments to take as I have already got a normal early pension forcast, but wondered if there was any difference in pension payments from normal early retirement and tier 1. Thanks for the clarification.

Warm wishes

I have had a normal early pension forcast and just wondered if there was any gain in applying for Ill Health Retirement tier 1.

I understand that tier 2 is increased.

My understanding is that ill health retirement is a much better option because you receive all the payments as if you had continued to work until normal retirement age.

A note of caution- these days work places do everything possible to avoid ill health retirement due to costs involved!

Are you in a union? You really need objective support and advice.

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Thanks for your help Bevvy, you're right I'll get in touch with my union.


Oh definitely. They have the experience and knowledge to help you and to fight on your behalf.

After all that is what you pay your subs for!

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I was retired last year due to ill health with IPF aged 58, and even though our final salary scheme finished in 2009, the company I worked for added the years from age 58 to 65. If early retirement was taken these extra years would not have been added.

Ah yes so it does seem worth applying for the tier 1 IHR rather than just taking early retirement. Thank you Brecksfield for your information. Regards Ed


I have recently gone through this process. My contract of employment was terminated last July but it was actually December when I actually received my NHS pension. I did receive 2 months backdated payments.

I was lucky enough to get tier 2 pension, which is the better one as you get paid 2/3 of what you would have been paid if you had worked until 62. It was very stressful as obtaining your pension this way is not guaranteed you do have to fight for it.

Try and get as much evidence about your condition and how it affects you from your consultant, GP, physiotherapist, occupational health doctor etc as this really helps. My manager also put in a written recommendation for me.

As regards difference in pension payments, yes there is. If you telephone NHS pensions they will give you an approximate figure for both.

Good luck x

Some more great tips there Northern-soul, thank you. I certainly need to explore my options very carefully I think. Good health, Ed

Hi eddyhatter, I retired from NHS just under 2 years ago and got tier 2 IHR. but I had changed to the new scheme from 200? (can't remember the exact year) I was advised to apply before my sick pay ran out so I would not be left short. I was lucky and it didn't take an awful long time to sort out, but I retired for severe Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as my lung problems. I had great support from occ health and from my consultant and GP. You can usually choose the amount of lump sum you want and get either bigger or smaller pension, depending on your choice. Good luck hope it works out for you. and as Toci said paid as if I had paid into it till retirement age. janx ps turned 58 dec gone

Thanks grannyjan for passing on some helpful tips and sharing your story. Keep well, regards Ed

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Thanks to Toci, Bevvy, Brecksfield, Northern-soul and grannyjan for your help with my posting. Warm wishes Ed

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